HAL Crippled As 20,000 Employees Declare Strike For Wages: Is This National Security Issue?
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited or HAL is India’s premier, state-owned aerospace and defence company, which comes directly under Ministry Of Defence.
All operations under HAL has been grounded, and the defense manufacturing company is right now crippled, as 20,000 employees have joined a massive strike against their own management.
The issue here is wage revision.
20,000 HAL Employees On Strike
HAL trade union has confirmed that their strike against Govt. is a massive success, as 20,000 strong workforce has refused to work, starting Monday.
All 9 production facilities have stopped all their operations.
HAL trade union General Secretary S. Chandrasekhar said, “The response to our strike call has been overwhelming with all the employees abstaining from work in the nine production locations across the country,”
HAL has 9 production facilities across India, which are: Nasik, Korwa, Kanpur, Koraput, Lucknow, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Kasaragod. In these locations, HAL is involved in design, fabrication and assembly of aircraft, jet engines, helicopters and their spare parts.
Crippling such crucial manufacturing of aerospace equipment and defense machinery is certainly a national security issue.
HAL Employees Strike: What Is The Reason?
The revision of the wages for all HAL employees was due on January 1st, 2017, which has not been done as of now.
This strike has been called for this reason.
The previous wage revisions happened in 2007 and then in 2012, as it is supposed to happen every 5 years.
While the management offered revise rate of fitment benefit at 11%, the employees have rejected this compromise.
As per Chandrasekhar, this is not wage increase, but wage reduction, and this is not acceptable.
HAL Management Responds
HAL management has termed this strike as illegal, and have claimed that not every employee from HAL is on strike. As per them, employees at Korwa production joined duty.
In a statement, HAL said, “The trade unions have gone on illegal and indefinite strike even as conciliatory proceedings are on and against the advice of the labour authorities who want them (unions) to find solution without resorting to agitational means,”
HAL has admitted that this strike poses a question for India’s security preparedness, and reputation. Their statement stated: “The India Air Force (IAF) bases will be affected without our engineers who service, overhaul and repair the fighters. Military aircraft will be grounded, affecting preparedness and reputation,”
In their defence, the employee union has alleged that only contractual workers from Korwa had resumed duty, and all full time employees are on strike.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.